Monday, April 24, 2017

A salute to Harry Chaykun

You can make the argument that very few people know more about Delaware County sports that Harry Chaykun.

And perhaps even more important, you also can make the argument that perhaps no one in Delaware County is more responsible for shedding light on women's sports than the man affectionately known around these parts as 'Pop-Pop.'

Harry Chaykun wrote for this newspaper for the better part of five decades. He is literally a walking encyclopedia of Delaware County sports history.

Offer a name and Harry will immediately spit out that person's stats.

How good is Harry's memory? When he learned that I had attended Oxford High, he immediately reminded me of perhaps one of the lowlights of Oxford Area High School sports history. I was a member of the original Oxford High football team when the sport was revived in the late '60s. For our very first varsity game, our coach, Fred Green, could not resist bringing his young charges back to his old stomping grounds and challenging his former high school coach, the legendary Tony Apicella at Chichester High. It did not go well.

We lost 72-3. I was part of that 3 points. I held the ball for a Chuck Peterson field goal. We actually had to do it twice. The first kick was nullified by a penalty.

It was the year after Billy Johnson graduated, long before he would become known in the NFL as "White Shoes." All I know is that day all we saw were the shoes of a kid named Joe Miller running all over us. He returned the opening kick for a touchdown and it was all downhill from there. I think he scored 5 or 6 TDs.

Harry delighted in finding little nuggets involving the Oxford Hornets and dropping them into his 'Today in History' Delco sports reports.

No one knows more about Delco sports than Harry.

And no one is more responsible for coverage of women's sports. It was Harry who first noticed the vast gulf between the way newspapers covered men's and women's events. It was through Harry's dogged determination that women finally started getting equal coverage. I'm proud to say the Daily Times was a big part of that revolution.

I'm even prouder to say I worked with Harry Chakyun.

Yesterday Harry was honored with the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fames' 2017 Robert Finucane Award. It's named for another outstanding Delco journalist.

They picked the right guy.

Read about Harry here.

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